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Republican senator from Kansas proposes banning drag shows in libraries and schools

WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) – A Republican state senator is proposing a ban on children’s drag performances in schools or libraries.

Mike Thompson wants to classify drag shows as children’s obscenity.

Thompson declined to comment Tuesday night when KAKE News asked him about the plan. But opponents say a drag show in a library is different than one in a bar or club.

“We are by no means trying to gear the shows specifically towards children. Or force the kids to see drag. It’s really something for the parents to decide,” said Hallie Linnebur, a Drag Show Performer.

Hallie Linnebur is a drag show performer. They were present at this Monster Mash event in October, which was at the center of controversy over whether state money was being used to organize the all-ages event. Linnebur says the drag they do is for everyone.

“For much of the drag that I personally do, there’s no sexual element to it. I have lots of colorful sparkly costumes. And I perform songs for children and adults alike,” said Linnebur.

Democratic state Senator Cindy Holscher told KAKE News that a constituent called her, concerned about the drag show’s library story hours.

“So I got on the phone and called a few libraries, I reached out to different areas of the state and what I found is that they’re not happening in Johnson County that are libraries,” Democratic state Senator Cindy Holscher said.

Holscher tells us he hasn’t read the entire bill, but says his gut feeling is that he opposes it. He says that, from what he’s heard about the statewide drag show library hour, what’s going on is not what some Republicans are saying.

“When I’ve talked to people who have brought their kids to the library hour of a drag show, there hasn’t been a mention of sexual identity or those kinds of topics. What it was was acting out stories,” Holscher said.

Holcher also points out that kids have access to any information at the click of a button.

“Kids out there have cell phones. They can access anything on their cell phones unless parents impose certain controls,” Holscher said.

Once again KAKE reached out to the bill’s sponsor, Republican State Senator Mike Thompson for an interview. He told us it wasn’t available.

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